Soft-sided hot tubs are the one true portable hot tub that you have. Typically made of vinyl, they come in simple inflatable options or as a true spa. Although they are designed more to be a temporary hot tub, they can still provide you with warmth and relaxation when you need. This guide will help you find the right hot tub in this category to meet your needs so you don’t wind up with a glorified kiddie pool in your backyard.
The Best Chart for Portable Hot Tubs
In this category, you’ll want to look for a soft-sided vinyl hot tub if you can afford the price. These hot tubs have a shell and cabinet made from marine-grade vinyl so it will be built to last. You’ll also have seating options and jets available to you – something inflatable hot tubs don’t always offer.
The Features, Equipment, and Options for a Portable Hot Tub
You might be purchasing a portable hot tub today, but there are still equipment, features, and options that must be considered when looking at each review. If you can invest a little more now, then the upgraded quality in the following items will give you a better chance of receiving a hot tub that can make it beyond year 2.
- Pumps. The hot tub pumps allow the water to flow to the jets. You don’t need an upgrade in horsepower to get a better hydrotherapy experience. A few jets with the right pumps can provide a better experience than lots of jets and only a handful of pumps.
- Jets. Speaking of jets, you want something that can provide you with a consistently vigorous outcome. High jet counts or unusual massage combinations don’t always provide value. Sometimes a few jets give you more relief than a lot of jets.
- Blowers. This is the motor that pushes air into the water in your hot tub. It’s what creates the bubbles that are in the water, even when the jets aren’t turned on. Some people like this feature, but it can be a real power guzzler too.
- Filters. Keeping your water clear and sanitary is essential when owning the best portable hot tub – or any hot tub design, for that matter. Filters help to make that happen. The best filters will remove small microns of organic materials from the water to keep it crystal clear.
The modern portable hot tub also comes with a new option that comes standard these days: antimicrobial protection. This layer of protection is often included on filters, filter cartridges, and even on a thin coating within the interior of the hot tub. It’s a nice feature to have because in inhibits the growth of microorganisms and bacteria in the hot tub.
And one final tip about the features and equipment for a portable hot tub: most in this category only need 1 or 2 filters for a successful ownership experience. If the filters are complicated, have multiple stages that require ongoing servicing, or use more than 3 filters, then all it will do for you is add to your ongoing maintenance costs in an unnecessary way.
Warranty and Support for Portable Hot Tubs
The best portable hot tubs should come with a comparable warranty to other hot tub categories. You’ll find most hot tubs come with a 12 month warranty on labor and craftsmanship, but some warranties may only be 90 days. A warranty is also only as good as the manufacturer. Some are unwilling to coordinate the services required for online purchases. Look for hot tubs that have a proven reputation for service so you can receive the support you may need when you need them the most.
The warranties for soft-sided hot tubs can sometimes be dependent on how well you care for the vinyl. It may be an all-weather vinyl, but it will break down over time if you’re not following the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. That’s a fast way to stop a 5 year warranty dead in its tracks.
How you sanitize the water can also create warranty and support issues. Some hot tubs are transitioning from ozonation technologies to UV-C technology. UV-C is ultraviolet light purification that damages the microbes in the water to create a sanitary experience without harsh side effects – to the water or your skin. Not all vinyl responds well to this option.
How to Take Care of Your Portable Hot Tub
Cleaning your portable tub is just like cleaning any other marine-grade vinyl fabrics and covers. It starts by brushing off any loose dirt or debris. You can also hose down the exterior of your new portable hot tub very effectively. The exterior of the hot tub can be washed with mild soap, but avoid that on the interior of the tub to prevent foaming issues. The cleaning solutions will soak into the vinyl – this is normal. Just rinse thoroughly when you’ve finished scrubbing and allow the vinyl to air dry.
Vinyl is typically coated with a finish to help it repel water or microorganism buildup. Over time, this finish will degrade. To maintain the quality of your hot tub experience and potentially extend the life of the unit, make sure to use a manufacturer recommended finish for best results.
Avoid using bleach when cleaning a portable hot tub. It may discolor the product in such a way that it cannot be restored.
What Are the Prices of the Best Portable Hot Tubs?
Hot tubs in this category are generally affordable for most budgets. Many of the hot tubs in this category are priced below $1,000. If you’re looking for something that’s more of a portable bath tub option, you can even find something for less than $100. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a fairly permanent hot tub that will give you several hydrotherapy options and still be portable enough to move with you to a new home, then you may find a price tag of $3,500 or more.
What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?
Don’t take the soft-sided nature of this design casually. It offers an insulated spa cover and is made from marine-grade vinyl so that it provides you with a heavy duty experience. The inner layer of this hot tub is made from the same materials that you’ll find in the best quality above-ground swimming pools, so it isn’t just going to wear out on you after a season or two. It looks beautiful, has the durability to match any other hot tub in any other category, and is designed so that you can take this hot tub with you if you need to move to a new home. What more can you ask from a hot tub?
This hot tub set provides you everything that you need for a refreshing experience. What makes this hot tub so special is the fact that it creates massage bubbles with warm air coming through the jets. It is able to do this thanks to a heater built into the unit that will warm the air before it contacts the water. This gives you better overall temperature consistency, which means better relaxation. From start to finish, this hot tub is ready for water in about half an hour. It’s an investment, but one that is definitely worth making if you want the best portable hot tub.
This is one of the deepest portable and inflatable spas on the market today, with 29 inches of depth. It also features an interlocking inflatable cover and a thermal blanket that gives you better temperature control. The vinyl liner for the interior of the hot tub is easy to maintain, while the inflatable wall exterior isn’t very easy to puncture. Just make sure you have this hot tub on a smooth foundation and you won’t have to turn it down or turn it off to enjoy season-long relaxation support.
This inflatable hot tub is arguably the industry standard when it comes to affordable portability. Not only can it seat up to 4 people without difficulty, but it provides you with a supportive bubble massage that is consistent and without major splash. With a standard pad, you can literally set this hot tub up anywhere for an afternoon of fun on your own, with someone you love, or while entertaining friends. Filtration is included with the design and you can start filling it up with water almost immediately after unpacking it. Pack it into your RV for a great vacation experience this year.
This is the portable hot tub you want if you have a lot of friends to entertain. We can fit 6 people into this hot tub pretty easily, though you do need to figure out where all of those legs go in the middle of the tub. It’s also one of the few hot tubs in this category that offers LED lighting as a luxury feature, plus there’s a cushioned air mat floor that helps to support the bubble jet comfort. Just unpack this hot tub once you receive it and start setting it up – no tools are required. And have you seen the price? It’s tough to beat this value purchase right now.
The best portable hot tub is one that will meet your individual needs, give your family relaxation support, and still offer the chance to have fun with your friends. Purchase your preferred make and model today and you’ll be making a wise investment into 4 seasons of stress relief.